11:19 PM | Author: Siva
The immigration reform is gaining some traction. Here is the proposal. The key piece is
Once the enforcement measures have been completed, individuals with probationary legal status will be required to go to the back of the line of prospective immigrants.
What is left unsaid, missing in most commentary and something that most people don't know is there is a quota of how many employment based green-cards can be granted every year (about 140K). Then each country gets a 7% share of that, irrespective of the population. Assuming more than half of the 11 million illegal immigrants are from Mexico the 10K visas per year is not very useful.

If one considers all the 225K visas for the family based green-cards to go to illegal immigrants, still the wait will be more than a decade. The "agriculture loophole" solves this problem for 3% of the illegal workers.  Relaxing the quota once can be easily branded as amnesty. However, any solution that doesn't address the quota of visa will not be practical.

7:54 PM | Author: Siva
are too smart to assume cops will protect them. They are buying more guns. They should.
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8:59 PM | Author: Siva
Madras High Court is suggesting Kamal Haasan to consider a "amicable settlement"  with the Muslim groups who were offended by his film. It suggests
"The nation’s unity was more important than individuals’ rights. Any action taken by the petitioner or the other side should not be at the cost of the unity of the nation."
It appears the Court is acknowledging the actor's rights to make a film. What is left unsaid is how the court sees Nation's unity. Check the Hindu's editorial as well.

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7:27 PM | Author: Siva
They were a pair. They walked a lot and often. Almost daily. There was always a yard or two between them. Never too much for a motorcycle to go between them. Never too close for comfort.

May be they never had to whisper. The distance was constant. Like those between the tamarind trees in NH-45.  The way it unfolded day after day was classy. All that stays is the walk, the pair disappeared like those trees in NH-45.

4:57 PM | Author: Siva
will they claim like S. Janaki did when rejecting the Padma Bhushan award ? May be she is comparing herself to Lata Mangeshkar, still will the claim itself disqualify her ? When thinking about it, here is one of my favorites of S. Janaki.

12:42 PM | Author: Siva
the girl on that bus in Delhi had a concealed carry permit and a gun ?
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11:50 AM | Author: Siva
Rotal wants you to match 3D  objects in a 2D screen within a few seconds. Addictive.

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7:53 PM | Author: Siva
Wisconsin is leading the way in offering competency-based degrees: essentially testing-out for an entire degree or most of it.
Wisconsin officials tout the UW Flexible Option as the first to offer multiple, competency-based bachelor's degrees from a public university system. 
With so many options to learn the subjects from MOOC ("massively open online courses) like Udacity and coursera the last missing step was how to get the knowledge "accredited".  Wisconsin is addressing that now.
No classroom time is required under the Wisconsin program except for clinical or practicum work for certain degrees.
A public University system, where Republicans control the state assembly, senate and a Republican is the Governor, leads the way !
10:48 AM | Author: Siva
United States has the most requests for users' Google data. India is second. You can get all the charts here.
10:38 AM | Author: Siva
Amazon Deals: Get 2% Back in Rewards point and shoot and DSLR Cameras.

Check out the Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR.
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8:34 PM | Author: Siva
The US education system is fine.

9:22 AM | Author: Siva
NY Times had an entire debate section on this question: Is there an Asian-American quota in Ivy League Universities? Let us look at the arguments for yes and no.

Statistics says, yes, there is an asian-american quota. Number of asian-americans in CalTech grew from 20% in 1990 to 40% in 2011. The asian-american population doubled in the same period, however, the percentage of asian-americans in the Ivy leagues remain roughly the same.

The argument against that:
 In reality, there is no evidence that this is the case. ..... It has long been illegal for universities to impose quotas or ceilings on enrollment of any racial group.
Essentially saying no one does it because it is illegal.

One more argument against the notion that there is racial quota (my para-phrasing):
Sounds offensive to me without any data to prove it and no data to say there is no asian-american quota.

On the other hand, look at why it is obvious there is a asian-american quota. Check the study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshad: “to receive equal consideration by elite colleges, Asian Americans must outperform Whites by 140 points, Hispanics by 280 points, Blacks by 450 points in SAT (Total 1600)." 
27 percent of Presidential Scholars in 2006 are asian-americans. Look at the data!

Someone from Harvard responding to all this: We have a highly individualized and holistic admission process. That could be from the brochure.

 In 1990, when Harvard University was investigated for discriminating against Asian-American applicants, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights found that part of the reason Asian-American students fared less well than similarly qualified white applicants was that they were less likely to be legacies.

When one side uses data and other side uses words like holistic admission process and interpersonal dynmaics, who do you think is correct ? Independent of your answer to that question, who will win the argument ?

10:30 PM | Author: Siva
with the data from the social networks. Avoid Oklahoma, may be Chicago too. Trouble is now this post will get New Mexico flagged in the same database ! I hope it is smarter than that.

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9:48 AM | Author: Siva
Mitch Daniels (who considered the republican nomination for President, but instead chose to become President of Purdue) writes a letter to the Purdue community. A long, but interesting read, especially if you are interested in the higher education institutions, their costs and the models for future.

9:29 PM | Author: Siva
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8:03 PM | Author: Siva
Jupiter and Moon are really close. They are not going to be this close for a long time.
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3:36 PM | Author: Siva

Weekly Deals on Toys. We especially like the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100. Started from that and then graduated to Snap Circuits SC-300. Lots of fun.

Note: If you use the links here and buy something the blog gets a tiny cut at no additional cost to you :-).
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3:35 PM | Author: Siva
Noah Zerkin, a wearable computing and augmented reality enthusiast/hardware prototyper, spotted Sergey Brin in NYC subway sporting the Google glasses. How long do you think before we get one ?

See also : An interview with Larry Page.

8:42 PM | Author: Siva
One would think that the concept of high expectations might encompass such notions as identifying skills and instilling the sense that any talent from maths, to drama, to sport, are worthy of celebration. To point kids in the direction of places where they can develop these talents outside school. To give the children the opportunity to explore and experience the very best literature, music, art, and give them the tools to create their own. To nurture skills of critical thinking, leadership, mentoring and reflection. To see children not as buckets to be filled in hourly doses with whatever information has been deemed useful, but as a disparate group of individuals who will learn in a myriad of individual, valid ways.
Can you do this and set up SMART objectives for a teacher? Or grade a student?

10:26 AM | Author: Siva

Jagdish Bhagwati on Indian economy, reforms, elections:

His track 2 is "directly spending the revenues generated by the enhanced growth, on health and education of the poor and on employment generating transfers to them".

Interesting to see how the UID is being called "Nilekani UID" multiple times.
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8:57 AM | Author: Siva
It is getting closer to Valentine's Day.

Amazon deals for Valentine's Day are here.

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8:40 AM | Author: Siva
10:12 AM | Author: Siva
Developer outsources his own tech job, watches cat videos at work.
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10:16 PM | Author: Siva
Amazon Deals : Extra 15% Off Select Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms . We have the kidde brand battery operated one and it serves its purpose well.
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8:38 PM | Author: Siva
Some really cool HTML5 based designs. I rarely use a mouse. This makes my touchpad obsolete as well. So cumbersome to swipe to the next picture or flick the wiper.
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8:13 PM | Author: Siva
A discussion of why cable TV bundles are priced the way they are and why Bravo viewers are non making ESPN cheaper.
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10:48 PM | Author: Siva
CA teacher fired for working in the adult industry in the past. What past jobs disqualify one from teaching ?
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10:26 PM | Author: Siva
Georgia mom who did not own a car can be prosecuted for vehicular homicide.
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9:47 PM | Author: Siva
The latest report on economic freedom in Indian states is out. Tamilnadu is #2. Guess the #1.
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11:00 AM | Author: Siva
 "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop." -- Herbert Stein

Every one is starting notice the cost of higher education in US.

The ROI for college costs should factor the cost of interest rates, the number of years for that to be repaid after the living expenses, the median salary in the field etc. College is not an experience, it is one of the biggest investments and should be treated like one.

If you are moving from India, for a masters in engineering, math or science, the ROI will still be reasonable. Not high, but reasonable. Factor the intangibles, it might just workout.
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9:29 AM | Author: Siva
Slate asks : How likely is it Antonin Scalia will die in the next four years. Now imagine the outcry if Fox News did it.

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9:33 AM | Author: Siva
When I try mit.edu I am getting mst.edu (Missouri University of Science and Technology). On searching, I am getting that Anonymous is replacing mit's site with Aaron Swartz memorial. This must be related.

On the other hand, I also see that the MIT is soul searching. What does that even mean ?

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11:50 AM | Author: Siva
This is buried in the long article on Michelle Rhee
Rhee embodies one extreme in the debate over public education. She believes that every child can achieve, regardless of conditions such as poverty, broken homes, underfunded schools. In her view, the main obstacles are weak teachers, bloated bureaucracies, union contracts. She is driven by data, convinced that learning and teaching can be measured with as much certainty as a dieter tracks progress on a bathroom scale.
Her agenda has provoked aggressive push-back from teachers unions and many progressives, who say that social factors have a profound impact on children and that Rhee’s policies unfairly scapegoat teachers. They say the worship of test data has created a “drill and kill” culture that has narrowed curriculum, sucked the joy out of the classroom and, in extreme cases, resulted in test scandals in Atlanta, the District and elsewhere.
Shouldn't progressives like more data, open to ideas like evaluating teachers. Sticking to "joy of the classroom" looks very old school  !
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11:43 AM | Author: Siva
stealing is stealing, whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars,” - That was a quote from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

“despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust.” - That is a quote from D.C. attorney general Irvin Nathan when no charges were brought against David Gregory.

To be fair, two different people, two different scenarios, however, where does one draw a line ?
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9:32 AM | Author: Siva
Now that USCIS is considering EADs for H4 spouses what are the things people would/could do so your spouse can work in H4 ?
  • Postpone marriage till your H1 meets the eligibility criteria for H4 EAD. This assumes you have enough hair left and you can convince someone to marry you at that age.
  • Get married sooner, but leave spouse in India till your spouse qualifies for the visa. You will be married but can still enjoy the bachelorhood for a few more years. However, there is always the added cost of vonage or relianceindiacall you need to factor.
  • Don't worry about all this, just get married, have kids, raise them. The kids will be independent when your spouse becomes eligible for the visa. It has the added benefit you would have paid lot less for childcare.
Am I missing something ?

11:14 AM | Author: Siva
With no concern for job creation or defense, the proposal for building a death star has been killed.

Don't you worry, we do have a " ...a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon ...".

 Darth Vader: Together We Can Rule the Galaxy (Google Affiliate Ad)

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10:55 AM | Author: Siva
David Gregory won't be charged for violating a law. Don't try it yourself though.

CTA Digital WI-NR Sure Shot Rifle for Nintendo Wii (Google Affiliate Ad)
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10:43 AM | Author: Siva
Forbes has a list of best master's degrees for jobs. Considering the median pay for CS, the ROI is still good if you can get some funding for the coursework.
8:29 PM | Author: Siva
Check this helicopter by Syma. Really cool for dads than the kids !

BTW, I am just trying the amazon affiliate program, so if you click through and buy it in Amazon I get a small amount at no additional cost to you. Interesting, let me see how it goes.
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9:30 AM | Author: Siva
USCIS is considering EAD for H4 visa holders. Instead of doing it for every H4 visa holder they allow it for a H4 visa holder when the corresponding H1 has exceeded 6 years and when they have already started green card application. Do they know the chances of getting a job when you are out of  job for few years ? Strange rules.

Canon PowerShot SX50 12.1MP 50x Optical Zoom Black Digital Camera (Google Affiliate Ad)
10:03 PM | Author: Siva
Can the events in New Delhi vindicate the decision to leave ?

Do they just expose the lack of drive to contribute ?



Samsung 8GB Galaxy Tab 2 Wi-Fi Tablet - GT-P3113TSYXAR (Google Affiliate Ad)